Category Archives: Travel in Scotland

Great Summer Theater at 59E59 Street & Festival of Arts, New Haven

National Theater of Scotland – June 10 – 25                            The Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT 

Exclusive premiere of “Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour” – A musical play about losing your innocence and finding yourself. Music by Handel, Bach, and 70s classic rock band Electric Light Orchestra. From the writer of Broadway smash hit ‘Billy Elliott’.

Ladies of Perpectual..”Once again the NTS has produced an outstanding piece of theatre which rivals the best seen in the last decade”.  Daily Record, Scotland .                                                                                                               “#1 stage show in the UK 2015″   The Guardian

Nominated for three CAT Awards including Best Production and Best Ensemble.  ASF Members & Friends : CODE TARTAN21 for a $5 per ticket discount.

59e59 logoBrits off Broadway Seaon thr July 3rd                 59E59th Street Theater59 East 59th Street, NYC                                                                                The best of British theater has been showing never before seen productions in the USA as part of the annual Brits off Broadway. The terrific season continues through July 3rd

For tickets and details visit 59E59.org

“A highlight of the theatrical year in New York.”  Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

                  

East to Edinburgh Season – July 12th – 31st                    59E59th Street Theater59 East 59th Street,                             NYC

Experience the excitement of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe without leaving New York!  59E59 will present 13 plays as part of their annual East to Edinburgh festival.

 The productions are new works   from North American  companies  before they travel across the pond toEdinburgh.  Tickets details visit 59E59.org

 

 

Delta has just launched ALL YEAR ROUND SERVICE from New York JFK to Edinburgh.

Delta has just launched ALL YEAR ROUND SERVICE from New York JFK to Edinburgh.

images_deltaheroimageFirst announced last Fall, anticipation has been growing for the new direct Delta flight – and the great connections it offers from around the States.

All flights from New York to Edinburgh will have Wi-Fi, we will be able to stay connected at 30,000 feet, with free on-demand in-flight entertainment in all cabins. Movies and TV shows can also be downloaded to tablet and laptop devices.

Tickets for Delta’s New York Edinburgh service are available directly through Delta Air Lines. Flights are operated in conjunction with joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic

AND to learn more of where to go and what to do visit VisitScotland for help on planning your next trip.

Calling All Golfers .. Win a Weeklong Golfing Trip for Two to Scotland departing May 28th…

A Week in Scotland playing some of the outstanding golf courses of Scotland.

This great trip could be yours if you enter today.  The competition is only open to US Residents – and it ends at 11:59 p.m. PT on 5/15/16 – Don’t delay – enter NOW!

May 28th – Winner and Guest Fly round trip to Glasgow arriving May 29th.

Stay at Gailes Hotel​, Ayrshire

Gailles Hotel, Ayr

Gailes Hotel, Ayr

The winner and guest will receive a full bag of TaylorMade Golf​ equipment and Adidas Golf​ clothing and footwear so they look the part striding along the fairways of the world’s most historic golf courses.

May 29th you could be arriving in Glasgow –
Stay at Gailes Hotel, Ayrshire

Monday May 30
18 holes Western gailes golf club

Western Gailes Golf Club

Western Gailes Golf Club

Tuesday May 31
18 holes Royal Troon Golf Club – (inc. 9 holes with Darren Clarke)
(Royal Troon is where later this year the 145th Open Championships will take place)

Royal Troon Golf Club

Royal Troon Golf Club

Wednesday June 1
18 holes Prestwick Golf Club
Whisky Tasting at The Jar, Troon

Prestwick Golf Club

Prestwick Golf Club

Thursday June 2
18 holes Dundonald Links, Ayrshire, Scotland

Dundonald Links

Dundonald Link

Friday June 3
Fly home

To enter to WIN follow this link http://madeforscotland.taylormadegolf.com/

Trip arranged by VisitScotlandTaylorMade Golf, and GolfWRX.com

Meet the Canine Competitors for VisitScotland’s Ambassadog

VisitScotland recently launched a search for Scotland’s own ‘Ambassadog,’ an international canine ambassador to promote Scotland as a destination that is as pet-friendly as it is beautiful. The tourist board, which is a partner organization of The American-Scottish Foundation, was looking for a well-behaved dog with an adventurous side and tons of #ScotSpirit.

VisitScotland received over 200 applications from all over Scotland, and the entries ranged from small city dogs to huge Highland hounds. Working with recruitment agency Denholm Associates, VisitScotland has narrowed the competition down to nine furry finalists. Meet them here:

1. Casper 

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.05.32Casper is a three year-old West Highland Terrier from Edinburgh. His owner, Samantha Grant, says that the Westie has travelled all across Scotland since his puppyhood, visiting destinations like the Isle of Mull, Onich, Portpatrick, and the West Highland Way.

Take a look at Casper’s own blog, ‘Scotland with the Wee White Dug.’

2. Sydney

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.04.53Sydney is a four year-old Pug from Edinburgh who enjoys walking up Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill and the Pentland Hills with her owner, Kristyn Lavery.

Kristyn calls the two of them “Scotland’s adventure couple,” as they love hopping in the car and speeding off to adventure.

3. Cassie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.07.22Cassie, a three and a half year-old dog, is a Patterdale Terrier and Collie mix from East Lothian. Her owners, Andrew and Carol Duff, rescued Cassie from a stray-shelter in Romania.

Cassie loves adventures, and has been on walks everywhere from the Tyningham Beach to the Lammermuir Hills.

4. Manny

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.08.44Manny is a charming 11 month-old Border Collie puppy from Fife. She and her owner, Vicky Gorn, enjoy playing sports and embarking on adventures.

Manny and Vicky even attends occasional agility classes together.

Check out Manny’s outdoor adventures on her Facebook.

5. George

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.11.54George is a one year-old Golden Retriever from Glasgow. HIs owners, Emma and Victoria Rae, love to take him on adventures across Scotland.

One of his favorite travel destinations is Loch Lomond, where he loves to splash around.

George already has 15.2k followers on his Instagram page, @golden_george_.

6. Bertie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.53.48Bertie, a six year-old Fox Terrier, lives in Aberdeen with his owner, Dr. Gail Riekie. Bertie’s official name is Granddach Beinn Allign, after the Torridon Munro.

The fox terrier has travelled all over Scotland, visiting dog-friendly cafes in cities like Aberdeen and exploring the likes of Glen Tanar and Morven on Deeside.

7. Blaze

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.55.56Blaze the four year-old Border Collie is from the Isle of Skye, where he is a local celebrity. His owner, Steve Millar, often takes Blaze up huge hills and Munros.

In 2014, the pair raised over £1,000 for the Glencoe Mountain Rescue through the sales of a calendar featuring the adventurous pup.

Check out Blaze’s adventures on his twitter.

8. Fenton

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.57.10Fenton is a four year-old Shetland Sheepdog who lives in Shetland with owner Kaylee Robertson. This adventurous little dog loves to explore, and is often found splashing through the crashing waves on the island shores, or else running round the rolling hills.

You can see Fenton’s Shetland adventures on Kaylee’s Instagram @Hobbitpaws.

9. Cluanie

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 23.58.50Cluanie the four year-old Jack Russell is a famous little dog from Inverness. Cluanie became famous after travelling up Ben Nevis in a kilt.

Cluanie’s owner, Micky Jones, has taken the tiny dog up 59 Munros in the last two years alone. Follow Cluanie’s adventures on his Facebook page.

VisitScotland and Denholm Associates will now work with TV personality Kaye Adams and the charity Dogs’ Trust to pick the winning finalist. The official Ambassadog will be announced later this month, after interviews with the finalists. Besides fame, the Ambassadog and their owner will win a unique dog-friendly holiday in Scotland.

Learn more about the Ambassadog finalists, and watch their nominee videos here.

Scotland is a wonderful travel destination for humans and animals alike. If you and your pet are interested in visiting Scotland, you will need proper documentation. Find out more about Scotland Pet Passports here.

Visit the VisitScotland website for more information on canine vacation fun. VisitScotland has a variety of pet-friendly holiday itineraries for those travelling to Scotland with a pet.

All images via the VisitScotland Ambassadog videos on Vimeo.com/butterflyfilms.

Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology 2017

VisitScotland, Scotland’s official tourism board and a partner organization of The American-Scottish Foundation, is already looking ahead to 2017. Next year will be the Year of History, Heritage & Archaeology in Scotland.

The year 2017 will showcase the rich history and archaeology of Scotland, celebrating its famous World Heritage Sites, ancient monuments, historic battlefields, castles, houses and more. Scotland’s heritage will be shared through its rich cultural traditions, ancient myths and classic tales.

The year of History, Heritage & Archaeology in Scotland will shine new light on the nation’s icons and hidden gems alike. Scotland’s gorgeous landscape, incredible architecture, and deep heritage make it a perfect holiday destination for the adventurous traveller.

VisitScotland has created inspiring itineraries to help visitors make the most of their trips to Scotland in 2017.

Click these links to view the following themed itineraries from VisitScotland:

To find out more about VisitScotland, visit the website here.

World Heritage Day in Scotland

April 18th marks annual World Heritage Day across the globe. This special day serves to raise public awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage around the world, and the efforts that go into preserving this heritage.

Each year has a different theme, and the theme of World Heritage Day 2016 is “The Heritage of Sport,” to signify the upcoming Olympics in Brazil. You can find out more about World Heritage Day on the International Council of Monuments and Sites website.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation‘ recognizes World Heritage Sites as international locations of significant cultural or natural heritage which should be celebrated and preserved for generations to come. Scotland currently has six World Heritage Sites on the World Heritage List. Although World Heritage Day exists to celebrate all cultural sites and monuments, World Heritage Sites are especially honored.

Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites are as follows:

Image via westburnside.com

Image via westburnside.com

1. Forth Bridge 

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge that runs over the Firth of Forth. An iconic symbol of Scotland, the bridge was designed by English engineers Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. The bridge was opened on March 4th, 1890 by the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII.

Image via cyark.org

Image via cyark.org

2. Heart of Neolithic Orkney

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is a group of surviving Neolithic monuments in Orkney, Scotland. The domestic and ritual monuments are not only amazing pieces of Neolithic design, but they also give us insights into the society and spiritual beliefs of the people who once inhabited Scotland.

Image via newlanarkhotel.co.uk

Image via newlanarkhotel.co.uk

3. New Lanark 

New Lanark is a restored 18th century cotton mill village found in the narrow gorge of the River Clyde. The village became famous for its success under the leadership of Welsh social reformer Robert Owen, who turned New Lanark into a thriving business village run through utopian socialism.

 

Image via theguardian.com

Image via theguardian.com

4. The Antonine Wall 

The Antonine Wall once marked the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire. Running across central Scotland, it was built by Roman soldiers under the direction of Emperor Antoninus Pius around AD 142. The builders commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs along the site. Twenty of these slabs still survive.

Image via tripadvisor.co.uk

Image via tripadvisor.co.uk

5. The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh 

Together, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh form what is arguably the one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The medieval structure of the Old Town gives Edinburgh its fairytale essence, the 18th century New Town is a beautifully preserved example of Georgian town planning and architecture.

Image via kildacruises.co.uk

Image via kildacruises.co.uk

6. St Kilda 

St Kilda is an is an isolated archipelago about 100 miles off of the west coast of Scotland. The group of remote islands is famous for hosting the largest colony of seabirds in all of Europe, as well as unique populations of sheep, field-mice and wrens. The human heritage of the islands includes various unique architectural features from the historic and prehistoric periods, as well as written records dating back to the Middle Ages.

Scotland’s six treasured historic sites were celebrated today with a day of free, fun activities at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The day brought the six World Heritage Sites to life with fun activities and informational presentations for the whole family.

Each of the six Scottish World Heritage Sites had its own stall to teach visitors more about the unique sites. Visitors were able to handle replica Neolithic and Roman artefacts, dress up as 19th century mill workers from New Lanark, and build their own Roman swords and St. Kilda Mailboats.

Find out more about celebrating World Heritage Day in Scotland here.

Top Five Scottish Island Destinations

Scotland is well known for its beautiful glens and sparkling lochs, but did you know that Scotland has over 790 gorgeous off-shore islands? Most of these islands are to be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Inner and Outer Hebrides.

It is hard to find another place in the world that can match the beauty of the isles of Scotland. If you are vacationing in Scotland, you should consider island hopping, so as to enjoy the phenomenal hills and moors, and the sweeping sea views from the isles.

The American-Scottish Foundation has chosen five Scottish island destinations you should put on your bucket list:

Isle of Islay

Image via islaypictures.com

Image via islaypictures.com

The Isle of Islay, known as the “Queen of the Hebrides” is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. On top of the gorgeous scenery and wildlife, the isle has eight working whisky distilleries to visit.

If you’re not too busy sampling the whiskies, Islay also has golf courses, trails for cycling, horse-riding and hillwalking, and spots to fish. There are also several annual festivals on the island, such as the Islay Festival of Malt and Music, the Islay Jazz Festival, the Rugby Festival and the Cantilena festival. With gorgeous views and plenty of activities, the Isle of Islay is a 5-star vacation destination. www.islayinfo.com

Isle of Jura

Image via isleofjura.scot

Image via isleofjura.scot

The Isle of Jura, part of the Southern Hebrides, is one of Scotland’s last wildernesses. A little over 200 islanders are outnumbered by 3,500 deer. On Jura there are many historical sites to see, from Iron Age Forts to ancient burial grounds and standing stones.

The village of Craighouse is the main settlement on the island. The charming town has a shop and tearoom to peruse, and a cozy hotel if you want to spend the night. Jura’s only distillery can be found in Craighouse as well, and offers personal appointments for tours and tastings. Jura’s west coast offers visitors authentic, untouched wildlife and absolutely stunning views. Spend some time exploring the amazing Isle of Jura. http://isleofjura.scot

Isle of Arran

Image via lochsandglens.com

Image via lochsandglens.com

The Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The isle is often referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature’, for it possesses many of the great qualities of Scotland in a single island. Arran has gorgeous mountains, woodlands, beaches, and outlying islands to see and explore.

The capital of Arran is Brodick, where Brodick Castle, the ancient seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, houses an incredible furniture collection. The castle is surrounded by the Duchess of Montrose’s garden, which has been recently restored. Arran is a perfect destination for you if you want to explore historical sites, hike, golf, or simply take in the local geology and wildlife. Escape to the Isle of Arran to experience Scotland’s history and beauty.

Fair Isle

Image via fairislebirdobs.co.uk

Image via fairislebirdobs.co.uk

Fair Isle is a tiny island that sits half-way between Orkney and Shetland. The 70 or so islanders tend to live at the southern end, where the land is more fertile, while the northern end is made up of sloping hills and moorland.

The internationally renowned Fair Isle Bird Observatory has done scientific research on seabird breeding colonies for over 50 years, so Fair Isle is one of the best places to bird-watch in the world. You might also see seals, porpoises, whales and dolphins cruising around the island. Fair Isle is known for its unique style of knitting, for many years ago local knitters discovered that fine yarns stranded into a double layer produce warmer garments. Journey to Fair Isle to experience the incredible wild-life, and don’t forget to shop for cozy wool sweaters.

Isle of Skye

Image via isleofskye.com

Image via isleofskye.com

The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most popular vacation spots. It is famous for its breath-taking scenery, such as the beautifully crystal clear Fairy Pools on the River Brittle. The Isle of Skye is 50 miles long and the largest of the Inner Hebrides. The Island has a rich history, having played host to Clan Warfare, Highland Clearances and ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and the Jacobite Rebellion. Both Clan MacDonald and Clan MacLeod have their Clan Castles on Skye, just waiting for you to explore.

The Isle of Skye is also a great destination for wildlife watching. See if you can spot White Tailed Sea Eagles, otters, seals, whales, dolphins, or red deer. Skye is also a great destination for walkers and climbers with famous trails like ‘The Cuillin Range’ and ‘The Trotternish Ridge.’ Have a walk around the Isle of Skye and you may never want to leave.

 

From a night visit to the National Museums of Scotland to Gorgie City Farm, always so much to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is full of wonderful places to go and this recent list from BuzzFeed has “15 Splendid Places To Go On a Date In Edinburgh” – we think they are fun anytime.

gordie pig farmdunbar garden

 Were you aware you now can make a late night visit to the National Museum of Scotland – follow that with perhaps at visit to the  cute and cozy Lebowski’s Bar & Grill,  and a walk around the beautiful topiary gardens of Dunbar’s Close Garden.

Always having eyes open for that find the idea of antiques amd tea is a wonderful mix when one stops at  Anteaques, or perhaps a delicious dessert at Affogato. 

Craft beers, good food and wine await you at Panda & Sons.  “fusing the classic Prohibition style Speakeasy and a nod to the Vintage style Barbershop”…

And who cannot resist a visit to see the pigs at Gorgie City Farm or a visit to the wonderful Royal Botanical Gardens.

Check out BuzzFeeds list of ideas here http://www.buzzfeed.com/…/splendid-places-to-go-on-a-date-i…

Join the Jacobite Journey at Culloden Battlefield

The National Trust for Scotland invites you to join in the Jacobite Journey at Culloden Battlefield, where the course of British, European and world history was changed forever.

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The atmospheric five-star Culloden Battlefield, scene of the final defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army, invites groups to immerse themselves in the historic events of 1746 with an exciting new selection of ‘Jacobite’ experiences.

Explore life as a Jacobite solider in A Soldier’s Life workshop, handle 18th-century replica weapons, shields and tools, play period games and dress in period costume (including tartan plaid) for the ultimate Jacobite ‘selfie’. Available by pre-booking only.

Geared towards the needs of International and UK visitors, Culloden also offers:

  • multilingual interpretation in 11 languages
  • 360 degree total immersion battle theatre
  • GPS-enabled audio battlefield guides
  • Fast-track entry for pre-booked coach parties
  • Free coach parking and exclusive driver/guide benefits
  • 6 specially designed Taste our Best award-winning group menus
  • Exclusive Culloden branded products in the newly refurbished gift shop

Visit the National Trust for Scotland website for more information. You can also email traveltrade@nts.org.uk or telephone +44 (0)131 458 0204 for bookings and enquiries.

Image via nts.org.uk.

Enjoy Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh

Afternoon Tea is a traditional custom in Scotland, and throughout the United Kingdom. The afternoon ritual became popular in the UK at the end of the 17th century.  In 1840 afternoon tea was first introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford.

Image via lastminute.com

Image via lastminute.com

The Duchess found that she was hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon, but dinner was served late, at eight o’clock, which was the fashion at the time. So the Duchess asked that a tea, bread, butter and cake be served to her every day in the late afternoon.

She eventually invited friends to join her for this ritual, and afternoon tea breaks suddenly became fashionable social events.

The tradition of enjoying an afternoon cuppa with sandwiches, breads, and cakes is still strong in Scotland today. In the city of Edinburgh there are many teahouses, cafes, and hotels where you can spend your afternoon sipping tea and sampling sweets. The American-Scottish Society has picked three top spots for Afternoon Tea in Edinburgh: a palace, a library, and a hotel.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Image via royalcollection.org.uk

Image via royalcollection.org.uk

If you are craving a spot of tea, why not head to a palace and enjoy Afternoon Tea fit for a queen?

Try Afternoon Tea at The Cafe at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the 16th-century palace of the Stuarts, located at the bottom of the Royal Mile. You can attend a tour of the royal reception rooms, antiques, and relics before heading to the elegant cafe. You can attend a tour of the royal reception rooms, antiques, and relics, or just go straight to the Courtyard Cafe. The former stable block has been converted into the cafe and the outdoor cafe is a tranquil surprise with shady trees. 

Enjoy your tea over the beautiful views from Arthur’s Seat. Afternoon Tea is served every day, between 12.00 and 3.00pm. Choose from a delectable selection of of freshly baked cakes, pastries and sandwiches, served with steaming cups of loose-leaf tea. If the magnificent surroundings have you feeling extra luxurious, champagne is on offer to sip with your Victoria Sponge Cake. If you attend Afternoon Tea at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, you can expect to have the royal treatment.

Colonnades at the Signet Library

Image via afternoontea.co.uk

Image via afternoontea.co.uk

If you are exploring Edinburgh’s Old Town, head to Colonnades at the Signet Library. The grand old Library is an exquisite and interesting venue for an elegant Tea Salon.

Traditional Afternoon Tea is served Afternoon Tea is served Monday- Friday from 1pm to 7pm and 11am to 7pm on Sundays.

The building is filled with history. Corinthian columns line the salon, which is surrounded by ornate balustrades. Even some of the fine silverware is original to the Georgian building. While you take in the grand setting, treat yourself to one of the decadent cakes created by the resident pastry chef. Fresh sandwiches, a selection of teas and cocktails, and many other goodies are on offer to enjoy. You’ll never visit another library quite like this.

No. 11 

Image via 11brunswickst.co.uk

Image via 11brunswickst.co.uk

No. 11 is a sleek and modern hotel set within a charming Georgian townhouse. The hotel is just a short walk from the Playhouse Theatre Edinburgh and Edinburgh Waverley Station. Even if you are not enjoying a stay at No. 11, the Brasserie is open to the public.

The dining area is lush, furnished with velvet and elegant artwork, serving as a perfect setting for a Traditional Afternoon Tea.

The luxurious Afternoon Tea at No. 11 offers a menu of sweet and savory treats, including fresh finger sandwiches, hand made fruit scones, and a selection of pastries including decadent chocolate eclairs and mini cupcakes. Help yourself to wine or coffee, or even a bottle of sparkling wine. You can book a table from 12:30 – 5:00, from Wednesday to Sunday, each week. Enjoy the elegance of modernity, fused with the traditional charm of a quintessential Afternoon Tea.